Part of the Nummus Hoard, plough-dragged in its field
This morning 12 poets joined me and Peter Reavill, our regional Finds Liaison Officer, in a workshop exploring just some of the treasure trove of the Welsh Marches. Peter blew us away with a mix of archaeological precision and rich storytelling – the hedge under which someone, in 1645, buried the Bitterley Hoard; the river ford where someone wrenched the Dinham Pommel from a sword, then hurled it into the waters of the Teme; the rhythmic, hour-after-hour sound of someone dressing a cutting-stone in the Paleolithic.
On the top floor of Ludlow Library, Peter Reavill makes handaxes new.
Despite time being as ever too short, the poets produced the beginnings of characterful, muscular work. Here they all are.
Poets deep in concentration, Peter still using every minute too.
And here’s the tyg, a 17th century loving cup. On a night in 1645, the tyg’s owner drained his eggy, clovey, honeyed posset, then stacked it with his stash of coins, some of which dated back to Elizabethan shillings. Perhaps the Royalists were going door-to-door in search of contributions to the cause. Our man was having none of that. He buried it. But never dug it up.
The tyg, in which the Bitterley Hoard was found. Left, the remains of a kid purse inside it.
I am so thrilled that in a mere two and a half hours the group came up with such exciting starts to poems. More #FindingTreasure events are planned! We’ll be publishing the poems that result!
Extract: A Charm Against Uncertain Borders, by Jean Atkin